Karen Allen has long been known as one of the iconic actors of the past several decades, known for her work in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Animal House," "Starman" and other films.

But her latest effort, "A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud" has taken her down another path — that of director.

The short film will make it's World Premiere on Sunday at the Manchester Film Festival in England. Allen, a resident of Monterey, is also scheduled to be a speaker at the Women in Independent Cinema Panel to be presented during the festival, according to Diane Pearlman, one of the film's producers.

The film is based on a short story by Georgia native Carson McCullers, an essayist, playwright. poet and novelist who died in 1967 at age 50.

The story, Pearlman said, is set in a roadside cafe in the early morning in the spring of 1947. A young boy and an older man meet in the cafe by chance. The older man relates a vivid tale of heartbreak and loss, and of his hard-won understanding of the meaning of love.

In an interview in September with The Eagle, Allen explained that she read the short story decades ago, and has been enthralled by it ever since.

"This story captivated me in an unusual way," she said at the time. "I read a lot in my 20s. Still, this story had a special place in my heart.

"I already knew Carson McCullers' work, " Allen continued. "This short story is so different from her others. It's so profoundly spiritual. I was very affected by the characters and the possibilities this story opens up."

Allen said she worked hard to "stay very close and true to the story Carson McCullers wrote, as I wanted to illustrate in the film the characters she has so beautifully drawn in the pages of this story."

Shooting took place over a six-day span, mostly at the SilverBrook Cafe in Sandisfield, Pearlman said.

The film stars veteran actor James DeMunn (Dale on "The Walking Dead"), as The Man and James McMenamin (Charlie Coats in "Orange Is The New Black") as Leo, the owner of the cafe. Making his film debut is Jackson Smith in the role of the Young Boy.

The film is presently being submitted to film festivals internationally. It will also be shown at celebrations of Carson McCullers' life and work under the auspices of the Carson McUllers Center at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga.

Screenings are also scheduled in New York City and Rome, Italy.

Reach staff writer Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.